Where to see the Perseids meteor shower – August 2017

Where to see the Perseids meteor shower – August 2017

The annual Perseids meteor shower is possibly the most eagerly anticipated by astronomers. For several years now the Perseids have resulted in a great show with dozens of bright meteors being spotted per hour around the peak of their activity.

Each year as the Earth travels on its orbit around the Sun it encounters a vast swathe of cosmic dust left over by the comet Swift-Tuttle. As these tiny dust particles enter Earth’s atmosphere at great speed they burn up leaving a brief but bright trail — a shooting star!

Perseid meteors can be identified as they appear to radiate from the constellation of Perseus, hence their name. The shower takes place each year from July 14th through to August 24th with the peak in meteor numbers (the time when the Earth passes through the densest of the dust) on the evening of August 12th / morning of August 13th. The very best time to see them is the early hours of August 13th.

perseid-meteor-shower-2017

Unfortunately the 2017 shower will be a little spoiled by the moon which rises late evening — it’s moonlight drowning out any dark skies meaning only the brighter meteors will be seen. Even still it promises to be a good show presuming the weather is favourable!

For the best place to see the Perseids meteor shower the most important requirement is a wide open space where you can see as much of the sky as possible. This year there’s no advantage in travelling any great distance to a dark sky site as the moon will overcome any darkness. It’s still advantageous though to get away from light polluted areas even if only a few miles out of town.

If you’re interested in photography check this fantastic guide on how to photograph the Perseid meteors by expert astrophotographer Alyn Wallace.

Places to see the Perseid meteor shower

The map shows recommended stargazing locations including official dark sky sites.

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Perseid meteor shower public stargazing events

The following events are taking place during the peak period 11th August to 14th August.

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Perseid stargazing events

Solarsphere Astronomical & Music Festival 2017

Solarsphere Astronomy Festival @ Penmaenau Farm, Llanelwedd, LD2 3RD

Solarsphere brings together astronomy and music for a festival that can be enjoyed by everyone. There'll be plenty to keep children entertained with special workshops, astronomy related activities and arts. In addition talks will be given by...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 12:00pm to Monday 14th August 2017 12:00pm

Perseid Meteor Viewing with Northants Amateur Astronomers

Newton Field Centre, Geddington, NN14 1BW

The members of Northants Amateur Astronomers will be viewing the Perseid meteor shower from their observing location at Newton Field Centre. There'll be hot dogs and burgers too! Booking required in advance please contact the event organisers...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 19:00pm to 23:00pm

Perseids Meteor Shower 2017 - Dark Sky Wales

Brecon - Libanus Mountain Centre, Brecon, LD3 8ER

Join the Dark Sky Wales team for this astronomical summer spectacular! The annual Perseids meteor shower have been putting on a good show for several years now and this event is a great opportunity to spot them! Expert astronomers will be on hand...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 19:30pm to 22:30pm

Public Astronomy Evening - Perseid Meteor Shower 2017

University of Surrey, Guidlford, GU2 7XH

Join the Astrophysics Group for this special astronomy evening with a cutting edge lecture then, weather permitting, using the campus telescope.  This event is being organised by the University of Surrey with bookings taken via the Eventbrite...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 19:30pm to 21:30pm

Runcorn & Widnes Astronomers Meeting

Sandymoor Hall, Runcorn, WA7 1XU

Join the friendly members of Runcorn & Widnes Astronomers for their monthly meeting, to include a presentation and observing, observing! observing!! if weather permits. Visitors very welcome (small fee applies).

Friday 11th August 2017 from 19:30pm to 22:00pm

Herstmonceux Observatory - Perseids Meteor Shower 2017

The Observatory Science Centre, Hailsham, BN27 1RN

Join astronomers at the Herstmonceux Observatory for the annual peak of the Perseids meteor shower.

Friday 11th August 2017 from 20:00pm to Saturday 12th August 2017 00:30am

James Irwin Observatory Public Open Evening

James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury, CT2 8QA

Members of the public are invited to join Astronomers from Mid-Kent Astronomical Society for this one of their regular observatory open evenings. These events only take place if the weather permits observing. Attendees are asked to first meet in...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 20:00pm to 22:00pm

Perseids Meteor Watch at Wynyard

Wynyard Planetarium & Observatory, Stockton-on-Tees, TS21 3JG

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks each year around the 12th August with possibly dozens of shooting stars to be seen each hour. With free stargazing events taking place on the evenings of 11th and 12th August this is a great opportunity to...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 20:00pm to 22:00pm

Social Stargazing with UK Astronomy - Stargazing for starters

Emberton Sports and Social Club, Emberton, MK45 5BS

Join members of the UK Astronomy Social Network for a stargazing session in Emberton near Milton Keynes. This particular event is suitable for absolute beginners - take your telescope along if you have one!

Friday 11th August 2017 from 20:00pm to 22:00pm

Stargazing at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Dalmellington, KA6 7PZ

Amaze at the wonderfully dark skies above Galloway, see the Milky Way arching overhead and observe through large aperture instruments with the assistance of experienced resident and volunteer Astronomers. Events take place most weekday and weekend...

Friday 11th August 2017 from 20:00pm to 23:00pm


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